Expert Insights from Program Leaders
April 05, 2022
Season 2: Episode 34 - PAs in Urology

Today we speak with Dr. Daniel Park, Director of the Keck Medicine Urology Fellowship for PAs. Dan and I talk about the pros and cons of a post-graduate fellowship, his doctoral degree, and his leadership.

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Today we speak with Dr. Daniel Park, Director of the Keck Medicine Urology Fellowship for PAs. Dan and I talk about the pros and cons of a post-graduate fellowship, his doctoral degree, and his leadership.

The purpose of this podcast is to provide news and information on the PA profession and is for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and guests and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of the University of Arizona.



Season 2: Episode 34 PAs in Urology

Mon, 4/4 8:09PM • 39:35


pa, urology, fellowship, usc, dan, leadership, thought, people, pdas, patient, program, urologist, learn, profession, graduated, field, typical, postgraduate training, students, part



We respectfully acknowledged the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the Ogden and yaqi. committed to diversity and inclusion the university strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native nations and indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships and community service.



Welcome to this episode of the PA path podcast, I'm your host, Kevin Lohenry. We are glad you could join us as we seek to better understand the PA profession



it was you've treated disease and you when you lose me treat a person and I guarantee you'll win no matter what the outcomes.



Well, hello, and thank you again for joining us today. That quote from Patch Adams is one of my all time favorites, and that is from our very own Dr. Daniel part. Dan is an extraordinary leader, an extraordinary pa a phenomenal human being, and one of the most humble people on the planet. Dan talks to us about his fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in urology, as well as his own path to becoming a PA. And he talks about the pros and cons of Urology fellowships. In addition, you learn a little bit about leadership and also about his doctorate in medical sciences that he completed. We also want to let you know that we're going to be taking a short break while we move our studio to Tucson Arizona. Life is a little bit chaotic right now, as we make this move down to the Tucson area. So we will get back on track probably by the beginning of May, and kick it off with our next series of people that are sharing their time, talents and insights on the profession. As always, you can learn more about our colleagues in the conversations at our website at the PA path. Dan, thank you so much for joining our podcast today. We're excited to learn about your role in urology and about the postgraduate training program that you have developed a CAC. I think our audience, the students and the applicants are probably going to be curious about what the pros and cons are going into that. But before we start with that, let's talk about you personally tell me about your desire to become a PA and how did you land in this path that you have taken so effectively?



Well, firstly, I just thanks for having me, Kavita, how much of a deep respect and admiration out of you. And it's a pleasure, privilege and honor to be here. Gosh, my journey and my story. I would say I always hated blood. And never thought about medicine fact I studied business and timeouts, you know, almost finishing up with finance and economics. And I just realized I hate the stuff. I'm not the money. Yeah, this is something I don't want to do. And then my my brother in law, who's a urologist said, Dan, he said he loved helping people. He was go to medical school. I was like thinking, Are you crazy? No way I just that's not for me. I don't want to do that. I love the water. And I thought I've always wanted to be like an Asian version of Jacques Cousteau and go travel the world and be a dolphin trainer and you know, work at some volunteered SeaWorld or some nonprofit aquarium. That's what I really wanted to do. But I thought, you know, he knows me. He's known me since I was a kid. And I do like helping people and engaging and so I said, You know what, that I'll take an EMT course in college. So I did that ended up working on an ambulance to get some experience. And it turns out that I absolutely loved it. It was so fun. And one night cab it was. It was a Saturday night of course, and it was probably boy to three o'clock in the morning. It was a 24 hour shift, we get a multiple gunshot wound patient stabilized he's fine rushing to the ER This is down to UC Irvine Trauma Center. And we get to the ER and basically there's no parking for the ambulance, all the bays are full. The lock was completely packed. I'm thinking oh my god, this poor guy. Thank God our patient is stable. We look at a patient in and then there's this one guy, young buck, probably a military corpsman. Like you just boom boom boom calling all the shots running to codes had multiple trauma had chest pains going on as well too. I just remember was everything in anything like the old county days and I'm just looking at this guy like my back against the wall just astonished something this guy Superman I should just get this guy cape. And then it comes out to ask is What do you guys got just presented the patient? And I said Hey Doc, just want to let you know I just really just an admiration of all you're doing tonight. This is amazing. And I saw his his coat and it said PA is all thanks call me and I forgot his name, but call me so and so I'm a PA had no idea what that was So I said, like everybody else does back then. Okay, Doc, thank you. I talked to my brother, while years later this is back in the, you know, early 90s or so. And when patients would ask you, so when are you going to medical school? And so I talked to my brother in law, and he's like, I said, Hey, wow, about this whole pa thing. And he said, hot dog. That's a great idea. So the more I dove deep down into it, the more I thought this was perfect for me. I love helping people. I love medicine. It was a lot of fun. I love the sciences. I aced it all I did really well, unlike the business classes, because I've kind of found my fire. I applied. And by the grace of God, I got into USC. That was in 1994. And I never looked back. It's been a great journey.



What's fun for me is I went into PA school in 1994, as well, so So you and I graduated 96. You got on 96 as well. Right? We both went through the exact same timeframe. And you graduated in May? Yes, that's right. But you and I graduated July 1, so you have a couple months. You are my elder?



VA license 13945. You're probably is the three numbers and after?



Yeah. So So Dan, as you reflect back from the last now what 25 years of being



crazy. Yeah,



I mean, it flies by what's been the biggest surprise for you by the profession?



Oh, gosh, that's a great question. I think there's a kind of multiple answers to that. I think the biggest answer for me would be every time you invite me to come and teach or give a talk or when I get to, you know precept, your your students. I'm just astonished and amazed at how strong and stellar your students are literally, every single one. I remember one time I was on the admission committee and just doing interviews and I thought, man, these guys have the toughest job. All these kids are stellar. They're all top of their class. They're all brilliant, and just smart and just bushy eyed, and just they just want to jump and they know exactly what a PA is on like back when we went to school. I mean, I think a lot of people really still had no idea about the profession. And so that's been really astonishing to see it's kind of kind of cool to go to PA school now, you know, there and you and I are kind of the dinosaurs and thinking Oh, you guys did it what it was a cool one. It was just basically, quote forming. But that's been great at the convention way to, I don't know about that part's Correct. Going to see these kids fired up. Like really wanting to go to PA school. We have, you know, students and researchers and all kinds of people shadowing us in clinic at USC, and a lot of them are just so sharp and I'm telling these undergrad students, hey, you know what, you go to med school, they're like, oh, no, no, I'm applying to PA school with zero doubt. And that's pretty, pretty awesome to see that people know the profession and have good respect for it.



Yeah, I agree. I agree. When you and I graduated, I look these numbers up one time, there were 29,000 certified IPAs in the United States. There were 54 accredited PA schools in the United States. We now have I think 135,000 certified IPAs, and there are over 280 accredited PA schools. So it should have been what a boom, you know, trendsetters? Damn,



yeah. Wow. That's amazing. But they're taking our jobs, aren't they? Enough money. That's what they used to say about us. Right? Right. I remember that



never happened. Never happened. Yeah, that's, that's great. While so so you graduated from SC? And where did you grow up to that?



It's funny. So I still you know how it was when you did your rotations and it was so difficult because every four to six weeks you fall in love with something else you thought you want to do ortho, you thought you wanted to do peds you thought you wanted to do something else. And that was me because every every rotation I just was just astonished and on it just wanted to go deeper. So I fell back into emergency medicine just because I knew it and I was pretty decent at it and I could do a pretty fairly good job and so I was moonlighting in the ER and the the chair at this place just really wanted me to stay and he's like Dan just moonlight here and get a feel for it. And you know, while you're studying, you know, studying and preparing for kind of my next phase of my life and I thought I was gonna move to the east coast and then all along that brother in law kind of things me says Hey, Dan, I could really use your help. And the clinic just a part time thing just a part time job helped me see some patients in the clinic and then do a consultation. They're like are what the heck you know. And that part time job turned into 10 years full time. I just ended up really loving it. I think urology is a field we don't really think about you know you think about you know peds and internal medicine and ortho and the big ones but you really don't think about urology, and you know, there's a lot of this a lot of facets of Urology that are pretty, pretty exciting in that you get kind of a, a taste a combination of medicine, of surgery, of technology, of procedures, and we're quick to adopt robotics and, and laser stones and all kinds of neat stuff. That's really fun. And I really found that really innovative. So that 10 year stint was amazing. And I learned a lot. We did very well, we had multiple practices, we had a surgical center lithotripsy. And we did well, but I think I was just kind of maxed out. And so at that time, USC was recruiting a Doctor Andy Gill, who was the, at that time the chair at Cleveland Clinic, which was ranked I believe number two in the country at that time, met with him, I knew I want to do robotics. And it was kind of two peas in a pod, kind of a story. And and I asked him, you know, he flew me out to Cleveland to go see Cleveland Clinic and I tell him, you're an idiot, how could you leave this place? I mean, why would you do that? And then he looks right at me, and a typical Gil fashion and, and he said, Well, I was like, Why did you leave your brother in law? And I really thought about I'm like, I guess maybe just to build something, you go scan because this place is already built. Let's go back to LA and builds build one of the best programs and I never looked back. It was it's been a really fun fun ride.



Or exciting is add. Yeah. Wow. So So what's a typical day for urology BA or maybe a bit better to say a typical week because it sounds like a fair bit of variety.



It is busy, you know, it's a it's a specialty that was really there's a big need in urology, and that's why I do see a lot of PDAs kind of catching on seeing this. There's a lot of primary care in urology that I think some people don't really understand how much primary care is involved. There's a lot of medicine and Nephrology and just your BPH and overactive bladder and your stones or incontinence, all your basic general urology stuff. But it is a busy specialty, I would say. I think our department is always kind of competing with ortho, those darn ortho ortho guys, but we're probably number one and number two, number one number two surgical volumes. A typical urology department is about two to 3% of any major academic medical center in our country. Here at USC, we are about 16 to 17%. We are the dominant player at CAG. So it's very busy. And that translates into you are going to be busy, but I promise you, you are going to have a heck of a time and so it's busy, you know, in our country, I think what's the stat Kevin 10,000 Americans turn 65 Every single day. So this kind of graying of America, I think, in part is going to be major parts gonna have be half the met by your all GPAs. And so it's fun, typical day or week. Oh COVID kind of shifted a lot of things. So a lot of tele med for me. But we basically, you know, rotate through the operating room, we have first assist on open robotic cases, laparoscopic cases, some of the most complex cases in urology, the entire depth and breadth is what we cover at USC. We our cancer center, as you know, so we were one of the original eight cancer centers. And so that just means we're dedicated to cancer. So you know, we don't do peds we don't do er, you know, it's basically a very, very kind of cancer oncologic driven program. But we have, you know, endo urology, we have reconstructive surgery, we have female pelvic health. We have benign disease, oncology, you name it, we have it so you're busy either in the clinic in the floor on the floor in the O R we have RPAS pretty much a little army of TAs are running the show and calling the shots in the O R on the floor. We have four full time that run the floor that we have Norris and we cover we have Keck that we cover we also have renewable Hills hospital and USC also recently bought out Arcadia. So it's been a growing program. We had zero satellites when we started. It started me to build I was starting to stir around the same time. Now we have 13 satellites working on a few more. So we have we and we rely on these PDAs because they're amazing. And so they're pretty much everywhere and anywhere kept.



So the growth of the PA cords if you will add your add the USC rheology really was driven from this constant growth and and you were the first PA and had they liked that model. So they continue to expand with your leadership. So Right.



I don't know about that. It's just you know, I think we're all we all we knew what we wanted. We wanted to own the place and we want to be the best, not as a pride issue, but we just really want to make our job meaningful. And you know, if you're spending so many hours at work, why not make it a meaningful job to give up, you give more meaning to your life and that sense because you're helping people. So it was it was maybe a little bit of me, but I can see that back then. We had people like Isla Skinner who, you know, were basically, you know, kind of these pillars in urology. She's now the chair over at Stanford and another one of our faculty is going to, to, to Cornell starting very soon to be a chair. It's I think the program is really built on the strength of the people. And I think once the attendings realized just how solid these PDAs were, they would kick and fight and scream to have a PA biter side helping them because they realize, man, there's so much more of a boom in their practice and let alone patient experiences. And just having more fun and practicing medicine, it's definitely a team here. There's no silo, everybody relies on on one another. But yeah, great people with a great department, everybody with the same common goal and vision really can lead to really good outcomes. Yeah,



yeah. And so when did you decide to start a postgraduate training program and tell us so funny?



Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. Nor do I still I just kind of piecemeal this piecemeal that you could think our good friend, Professor Janice tremella, who I love and I owe my professional career to, she's made me a better forget clinician, just a better, better human being. She's just inspired me from from the day I met her, she was the first to interview me back in 1993, around that time, and I felt sick to my stomach, and you walk in the room, and I kind of picked him. She said, Come on, come on in. I'm not gonna bite you. And it was great. But, you know, I told her, Hey, Janice, you know, I really want to maybe start this fellowship, and how can we make this fellowship and more advanced program? And what do you think about it? And you know, there's everybody's watching from the American urologic association to our own department to leadership here, a lot of other departments are watching because they're thinking, how are they going to do this, and everybody said, it's not going to happen, that's not going to happen. By the grace of God, we got one fellow that was about six and a half years ago, just kind of piece my thought, well, you know, let's put a program together, you know, kind of three month blocks, I said, maybe three months of general three months of your oncology, three months of, of stone disease, and female pelvic health, and then a three month elective, and then, but I soon realized that these peas were awesome, they were already certified, nor do I want to call them residents. So I didn't want to call this a residency, I want to call this a fellowship, I wanted them to be treated as such. And so we got funded for one, by the very top at leadership. And they realized, wow, this can be a good way to kind of, you know, help with the volumes and, and, and really kind of help, you know, help the bottom line as well. So ultimately, one went to two and two went to four, and no looking back, and then I recruited other colleagues to help. Liz was our Director of Education. She just took maternity leave. So now Deborah is helping with that. It's definitely you say, my fellowship is far from my nothing is mine. I just work here. And part of the team that we really have is high caliber people of TAs for manly new grads, and who are basically graduating from some of these top programs, including yours at USC. And, and I asked him, why would you want to do this? You know, I had one who just finished a one year er fellowship. And I'm like, why are you doing this coming from Cornell? She's like, I fell in love with urology, and I realized I needed to get better trained at this. So now yeah, so that's how it all kind of happened. I really don't know how it happened. It just kind of piecemeal together. And by, you know, getting some gracious support, things are going pretty good.



So if I'm a PA student, thinking about the pros and cons of going to a fellowship after graduation, what are those one of those typical talking points that you provide? When they talk to you about your your fellowship program?



I first I usually tell them, you do really want to do this. You don't have to do this. You are certified, you're licensed, you're already going to excel in your field. I can tell these these people are really driven. Most people who would consider more education after PA school are kind of crazy to begin with, I would think. So that tells me something already if there's any interest. And then it got to the point where we started having multiple applicants for just one seat and the applicants kept coming and kept coming. We never even advertised this cab. We just had one small brochure that was still sitting at my desk. So More. And a little bit mentioned on our on our website of a fellowship. And that's it. But I guess us got around and people talk. Our department is quite strong and quite known in the field. And so I think people talk they realize a SC has a as a PA fellowship and kind of things went from there. But I would say think about Urology. Because if you really want to go deeper, then do a fellowship. And just because there's so much to learn, and yes, you'll learn on the job. But I think for skill sets for specifically to be an expert on the bedside on a robotic case, I think we're learning how to handle a sister scope or learning how to do a MRI fusion biopsy, things that the outside community urologist will really admire and hugely appreciate, because you can help with the with the patient. You know, in urology, I think they said there's only about 13 or 14,000, practicing urologist in the country, and over half raged 50. So we're looking at a major retirement in the next maybe 1020 years, there's pie but 70% or so of counties in the country have zero to 100, not even one urologist. And with this 10,000 people turning 65 Every day, you know, I think we're really going to count on PA to help meet the need. And burnout, I think you're all just had some of the highest burnout rates because of the work. There's just so much work. But I think I also want to kind of help standardize postgraduate training because you know how I learned to do a scope. With my brother in law, this might be completely different than how another person learn how to do a scope in Florida. So want to set some standard parameters. And also I learned that the American urologic association was watching this and really had some interest in this and postgraduate training. So I spoke quite a few times. And I've been invited to speak many of their meetings. And it's exciting just to see, you know, these PDAs who really kind of have a passion for a certain field, but



really the only postgraduate fellowship in the United States for urology P is



technically yes, there. Emory does have a residency. And I know there's another thing going around, I believe, somewhere on the East Coast. And I got a call actually, that's just two weeks ago, over in Memorial Sloan Kettering and a few other programs in New York who found out about this and thought it was a great idea. So I just spoke to them in their chair. Not too long ago, give them my footnotes and learn from my failures, etc. But the more the merrier. I just think there's such a demand. And so yeah, but I tell our fellows day one, I said, you know, my job is to make sure you have fun. I really want you to have fun learning. You're a part of the team. You're not a silo. We're all learning together. I've been in 20 plus years and still learning every day. So but yeah, it just kind of all you know, we we have an animal lab with suture lab, we offer Intuitive Surgical first bedside assist certification, we do research, there's publication options, Grand Rounds, journal club, m&m rounds, MRI rounds, radiology rounds, anything and everything. If you have an interest or passion we can we can we can give you part of that team make you part of that



team. One of the things that I hear from students when they're kind of weighing the pros and cons of staying in an educational track, is the salary differences. So can you can you address that just a little bit in terms of what what they should expect in terms of work hours and in terms of compensation? And what happens when they graduate from the fellowship? And then you know, I would presume your compensation changes drastically once they are through your fellowship?



That's a great question. Generally subspecialty TAS do overall make a pretty good salary, just because there's a big need and it's a supply and demand type of thing. Versus if you have a one year fellowship, particularly if you have a fellowship under a really strong program with strong leadership, so they know Andy Gill, they know a CEO daanish Man they know they know the names in urology, it's very small, small community. And while you've learned this, you learned that it really does look great on the resume and part of my job is also helping with with job placement and recruiting. It's funny, I think that I honestly can't, I think have a good business proposition. We should become headhunters because I get calls from you name it. I've had University Washington iPad, the other school across the four or five or UCLA, UC Irvine I've had several programs in the East as well as Northern California, asking about PAC that's just academics. I've had a ton of community you're all just asking for PAC regularly and every time they asked you're bumping their salary higher and higher just because they know they're well trained and they know they're gonna you know, these guys are business people they know they're going to make their money back with these cases in the bill. But there definitely is a some I would say some panache with this because you do get a certificate your once your SC you're always that sees what I Say, you know, you're part of the family and I would say they're highly recruited. Compensation is different, it's a little difficult just because the models and prior practice are very strong for urology, just because the more you can do they typically pay pay well. And then if you're willing to work nights or call, like I did, you're, you're working your tail off, but you're making very good money. But certainly, I would say, they're gonna see, I can't quote a percentage, but I know they get paid better than the average typical New Grad would make. And a lot of these guys who are recruiting they know me and our programs, so they would basically get the inside scoop, Hey, how's this one? Or how's that one, and but the fellowship honestly has been great for us for recruitment, too. We keep the good ones and go ahead turf, the other ones that are good, but not great. But it's been great. But I do think their, their salary would certainly be higher, it would demand higher salaries. And, and, you know, they could probably get better schedules and that they know, you know, that these are well trained PhDs in urology, and they know their skill sets. So So yeah, it works out pretty good. I



think, what I hear you saying, If I can summarize what you're saying is that going to a fellowship, like your program allows them to add on some significant reimbursable skills, and the more competent they become at those reimbursable skills, the easier it is to negotiate a much higher salary to start right out of fellowship.



It's true in that if you know how to take care of a complex urethral dilation or sister scope, or prostate biopsy, and you know how to do all these things, and let alone help in the O R and open and robotic cases, you're going to be golden, because a lot of these departments are going to really rely on you to help with the patient load. So I do think you come out well trained, you come out learning a lot of oncology, a lot of we get we're big tertiary quaternary centers. So we get some of the most complex cases come here. Cases that if prior practice, when I was at I would we would never touch these patients with a 10 foot pole. They were that complex. And every patient we see here is that patient that is no simple patient here. But that makes it fun to that makes it really fun. But yes, I do think they will learn from the best. And I do think they will be rewarded as such.



So we talked about all the great things about being urology, PA, the certainly there are some folks that probably it's not the right fit. So one of those things that kind of drive people away from being becoming a urology, PA,



it's a tough field. It's at this, you know, I would say going back to that burnout, right? I think you're all this was like your all he was like number one or number two, almost half 40 plus percent were burnt out technically, criteria. It's just because the work doesn't stop. And I'm talking straight from like, from like, gut here, it's there are days, especially with COVID, it's been different. You wake up, you get your coffee on the go, and you're on the screen like I am with you. And then you look at your watch, you realize holy cow, kids are already asleep, and you're still at it, and you're basically non stop. And then in this day and age, you know, they have my cell phones and emails and they can message you through the portal. So you're just, I just feel like it's just really not. So I could probably be most sub specialties in this day and age. But in urology, that's, there's a lot. It's a high demand field. And if you really care about the patient, and you really take it, you're going to, you're going to you know, it's going to you're going to, you're going to work it and work your hours and it's going to reflect but at the same time. It's so rewarding. And you know, especially being a cancer center. What was that saying? I think it was you treat a disease and you win, you lose. You treat a person and I guarantee you'll win no matter what the outcomes every time it goes Patch Adams. But it's true because you know, you treat a person here and you treat him like your own family. That's that's been my saving grace since graduating is treated like family that always guides your decisions every single time and whether you get a chest pain, it's 5pm on a Friday night, you want to go home, stay there just to do the right thing. And that's been my you know, my guiding light. But it's it's tough. I'll be honest, long hours, sometimes sometimes we're in the or, you know, 910 o'clock. There's an emergency comes in, then yes, you might be called in. And yeah, we have residents and fellows and staff, but the peas are so good. They just become such an integral part of the team that they want to be there they want to scrub. But it's it's demanding. At the same time, as much hard work you're going to put into it, you're going to reap those benefits as well.



So being one of the things I've been so impressed with you about over the years is just your natural success as a leader and you're such a humble guy. Yeah, I know. You're I know, I know. You're gonna



tell me more. Tell me more



You're gonna totally deflect this every time. But But in all seriousness, I think he is getting the leadership is not as common, especially in clinical leaders. Yeah, I think I think it's growing. But what are some of those things about being involved in leadership that you think it really helps you succeed?



That's a great question. I did not like to be honest, I really didn't like leadership and all that that came with it just because I just had to deal with Brock cracy. As you know, there's so many layers in a huge place like ours. And there were several times Kev, I can count on more than one hand that the CEO or some of the big leaders asked me to, to, hey, you know, run transplant, or hey, what you've done for urology, help me do with ortho help me do this and how we didn't. And I was very honored. But my first love is something I always reminded myself is I love taking care of the patient. I love what I've studied, and what I publish and research. And I love prostate cancer. That's what I'm very passionate about. And I wouldn't leave and yeah, you can get in the sea booth. And you can do well, and you have executive staff and this and that, but I never floated my boat calves. So that was me. Having said that, do we need it? Absolutely. And so right now I am. My role is I do a lot of clinical, but also a lot of administrative work. I'm the director of clinical operations for the department as well. So I do interact with a lot of leaders. Very, very amazing leadership at USC, many who you know, and just I just want to help make things happen. Perfect example. So a fellow of ours graduated four, five years ago, he's always teasing me Friday nights, you know, Hey, Dan, you're you're probably still working sucker. Haha, go on home. He he's at Kaiser and Kaiser has, you know, it's a huge HMO and their backlog with their cross sector knees and he's like, Dan, I need help. I'm like, What do you want us to do? He said, just help us offload some of these prostatectomy. And so I go, Okay, you're I mean, his are straightforward, easy prostates. And not just his mean, the whole Southern California region. So just, you know, we're working on this contract right now. And it wasn't because I'm brilliant at all, zero brilliance. I don't know what I'm doing. But many times, but it's not hard. It's not rocket scientist, put piece one together piece to get to get the patient and get the contract and go, let's run relationships. It really is 100% relationships, and being genuine. And I think being real, really pays dividends. But my problem, I think, is kind of I had to learn to say no, because then I would get stressed out and I think would be just kind of dog paddling. But yeah, it's a long winded answer saying leadership is critically important, I think. And I see that happening more and more, which is fantastic. More PA is getting opportunities and leadership. And especially I think as the as NPS and Pa has come together with a stronger voice, I could see value in that. I can see in even in our in our field and the American urologic Association, there's a lot more networking and a lot more front page news about PDAs and Urology. And so that's been really, really exciting to see. But But yeah, definitely. There's room for more.



That's awesome. So my last question for you, Dan, is you have a very successful career. You're a successful leader at USC and you just admitted you have a hard time saying no. And you went on and you went and get your doctorate. And so for those clinical peers that are out there that are listening, what was the motivation to go back to school and you know, what are you hoping to do with it or what have you already done with it since you finished?



You know, it's funny. I didn't want to do this cab it was your partner Janice once again pushed me yeah and I remember this conversation with with Vanessa blastic who was one of your your students as well to number 69 female in the world to sell to summit all seven summits as you know, I always learned number 69 But yes, like if you want to make your fellow ship into a possible Doctor program that means you need to go back and get it to you. I'm thinking oh my god, I cannot do that. I'd have no time let alone to you know, I need to put a catheter in myself because I can't pee during the day with with so many limited hours. But she said you should consider her her own sage way and and I thought about it and thinking okay, maybe she does see value in this maybe does make sense. And I do like research I do like publications and and being able to speak on a you know, nice national level is nice because you can it's not about commanding any more respect. It's just showing that you're really dedicated to the field. And so that's been great. And as soon as I got it, it was not fun. It's definitely doable. You just got to be diligent, do the work. But I start it's fuzzy funny how much your network starts to expand and you don't even realize I had people coming down to the podium, many from your format, saying, Hey, Dan, I loved your talk, can you speak on this? Can you speak on that? And, you know, I tell him, Hey, I work for the University. So I can't do this per se, but I could, you know, do this pro bono for you, and whatever I can do to help and, and help with some trials, etc. That's been exciting. I think this opens a lot of doors that you never really thought about. And that part's really, really exciting, whether it's leadership, speaking, you know, speaking engagements, etc. But that part's been pretty fun.



Dan, any last tidbits that you're hoping to share with our audience that we haven't already spoken about?



Yeah, I think maybe to encourage those who are thinking about PA school, if it's in your heart, really think about it, but go shadow some and you'll really learn a lot about what they do. And that was eye opening. For me, I'm thinking geez, these these people were absolutely brilliantly smart, knew how to manage complex stuff, but they were just like, you and I and they were just like, really approachable. So get to know the PA profession let you know, look at legislation and look at all the things that are going around with the with regards to you know, optimal team practice of the name change and all that stuff. Be familiar with that, because I think that's gonna keep on coming back. For those at every you know, kind of opportunity you get to network, I think it's critically important. And for those looking into a fellowship, ask yourself why why do you want to do this, it's a big waste. If you just don't know why you just want to go back and do more schooling. It's it's not fair for you, as well as the your your program. But if you really know and love your field, whatever it might be, then I'd highly recommend it one year goes by really fast, you could talk to our prior fellows. It goes by super fast, many still texts and keep in touch with me and talk about some great things that they're doing. So it's a great profession that I encourage you all to to look into it more if you're if you're just kind of testing the waters.



Thank you, Dan. This is probably not a good scientific study. But in looking at you on the camera, I would say it's a lot less stressful being the director of a fellowship, and being the director of a piece. You look so young. My goodness. Oh, my God.



No way. I'm getting old. I have arthritis in my spine, my neck. I have arthritis. See I'm getting old man. But I want to retire. That's what I want to do.



Yeah, let's start the next great thing. Thank you so much for your time. I mean, congratulations on just a absolutely stellar career at SC you have when I got into leadership at the dean level, you're the name that comes up all the time. No, totally just take it and and you know, there are others there. Of course, that really laid the groundwork for all of us. But you have made it very easy to be a PA tech, and you're to be commended for that. So I wish you the very best. Thanks



so much, Kevin, thanks for all you do for not only being part of, you know the profession, but just being a great human being heavier, amazing.



You're very kind. We want to thank our guest, Dr. Daniel park for his time and insights into the neurology fellowship, and being a PA in the neurology specialty. As you can tell, Dan is incredibly humble. And his program that he's put together is largely due to his success. He was quick to offer credit to others. But we want to just acknowledge on the inside scoop, that the institution is enamored with his leadership and his success. As we mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, we're going to be taking a short break to get settled in Tucson, Arizona. So we will be out on social media letting you know when you're getting it off with the next episode. And we have some really exciting people lined up to talk about the profession. So we hope to see you soon in the meantime, enjoy the break, and we'll talk to you later.



Until next time, we wish you success with whatever path you are walking in life. And thank you for joining us. The purpose of this podcast is to provide news and information on the PA profession and is for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and guests and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of the University of Arizona.

Daniel Park, DHSc, PA-CProfile Photo

Daniel Park, DHSc, PA-C

Director, Keck School of Medicine Urology Fellowship

Daniel Park is a graduate of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine PA Program. His training involved rotations at the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. His education also included general surgery training at the Yale School of Medicine/Norwalk Hospital. He completed his medical training in 1996 and graduated with honors. He also holds a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the USC Price School of Public Policy where he graduated with honors and is a member of the Upsilon Phi Delta National Healthcare Honor Society. He completed a fellowship with the University of Lynchburg in Virginia for his Doctor of Medical Science degree. Daniel was previously with a private practice urological group for more than ten years where he had extensive experience in the operating room in addition to office-based urology. He was then recruited back to his alma mater by the department’s own chairman, Dr. Inderbir S. Gill, in 2010 where he now serves as Director of Clinical Operations within the Institute and is also Director of the PA Fellowship in Clinical Urology. He has been first author and co-author of several urologic abstracts and peer-reviewed journals. Daniel is a regularly invited guest lecturer for the American Urological Association national and sectional meetings and is also an active member. He also serves as adjunct faculty and preceptor for the Keck School of Medicine PA Program housed within the Department of Family Medicine.